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W’bago plans $2M Project

By Staff | May 8, 2010

The Winnebago City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night approving plans to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

Bolton & Menk officials were on hand to answer any questions the council might have.

Council members were pleased to learn total reconstruction — which would cost $8 million to $9 million — is not necessary.

Instead, the city is looking at two alternatives, one costing $1.685 million and the other $2.3 million.

If user fees are used to fund the project, residents would see an increase in their monthly bill.

Under the least expensive option, rates would go from $15.60 a month to $25.05, or to $29.62 for the second option.

Resident Roger Hanson says the current plant is worn out and in dire condition.

Hanson thanked the public works department for keeping the facility in operation.

“Darold (Nienhaus) solved some miserable problems a few years ago. We’re able to go outside again,” he says. “We have to do something. I know you will come to a just decision.”

Councilman Rick Johnson wanted to know whether the city should wait to see if there are federal stimulus funds to help pay for the project.

Herman Dharmarajah of Bolton & Menk says it’s unclear how stimulus dollars for wastewater plants will be awarded this year.

Dharmarajah says last year cities with approved plans and projects that were considered “shovel ready” received funding.

Wes Brown, also of Bolton & Menk, told the council plans have been submitted for review to obtain state funding.

The treatment plant was built in 1964 and the last upgrades were done 24 years ago.

The less expensive option would meet minimum rehabilitation needs and improve the facility to help meet phosphorus reduction standards required in 2012. However, flow requirements, grit removal, pavement deterioration, building space needs and primary clarified capacity would not be addressed.

Under the expanded improvement plan, pretreatment and primary clarifiers would be replaced, the control building expanded and the parking area pavement also would be replaced.

Brown told the council the anticipated life span of a new facility is 20 years.